One of the fastest ways to say a quick goodbye to the cash in your savings account is to take on the role of being a bridesmaid. Before you know it, you’ll be spending more money than you ever imagined on travel, gifts, decorations, and a dress that you’ll most likely never wear again. Even if you set a budget, you may be asked to fork over more cash for unexpected costs, like the bride’s bachelorette expenses, bridal shower decorations, or just pop-up wedding day items the bride forgot to buy.
Just take a look at these five bridesmaids, who each spent over $2,500 on being a bridesmaid, to see where all their money went.
1. I Spent too Much on a Dress
“I spent close to $800 on just the bridesmaid dress. The bride did let us pick any dress that we wanted and so I wanted to invest in a dress that I’d wear again. I picked one that was around $500 and then had to spend a couple of hundred dollars on alterations. I also spent close to $900 on the bride’s bachelorette party because there were only four of us that went and we covered all her expenses for a weekend in Nashville. Altogether, I spent $450 on gifts for the engagement party, wedding, and bridal shower. Finally, my hotel for the wedding weekend was $380 and I didn’t have anyone to share a room with so I paid for that on my own.” —Teresa P., 29
2. I Gave More Gifts Than Needed
“This was my first time being a bridesmaid and it drained me dry in the financial department! I didn’t realize I was going to need to spend close to $500 on gifts for the bride. I bought her an expensive bracelet for her engagement party because I knew she wanted to wear to the wedding so I bought it for her months before. I got her three things from her registry and spent close to $300. For the wedding, I wrote a check for $400 to cover myself and my plus one. That was just the money I spent on gifts! Then, I spent $1,500 on the wild bachelorette party in Miami where each bridesmaid paid $500 on a night of bottle service at a club. The last big expense was the dress. I spent a total of $350 on it. I seriously refuse to be a bridesmaid again for a long time.” —Marnie F., 25
3. I Paid for the Bridal Shower
“I have an event planning background so the bride asked me to plan her bridal shower. Of course I said yes but that was before I realized I would have to front the bill for it. The bride’s family said they couldn’t afford to pay for it and the other bridesmaids said no too. I ended up planning it and spending $1,500 just at the party. That was what I counted as her wedding gift. I spent another $400 on her 'local' bachelorette to a winery and $250 on a bridesmaid dress. My hotel for the wedding was $300. It was an expensive ordeal!” —Erin S., 31
4. The Bachelorette Party Was International
“I spent $3,500 just on the bride’s bachelorette party to Costa Rica. We went for five days. It was more than I wanted to spend but I felt like I had to because everyone else was going and I couldn’t be the only one to say no. I then spent an additional $1,500 on everything else (dress, shoes, gifts, hotel for the wedding, flights to the wedding). The worst part was the bride never even acknowledged how much this cost me or said thank you.” —Ashley B., 29
5. It All Just Added Up
“By the end of the wedding, I spent a total of $2,575 on the whole thing. The dress alone was $500 and that wasn’t my choice. That’s the dress the bride picked out! I spent another $150 on alterations and another $200 on these gold shoes the bride demanded we wear. The bachelorette party was a weekend in Vegas and that cost me $950 (and that’s only because I was stingy with food and drink. I also didn’t gamble). The wedding gifts cost over $200 and with all my travel and hotel stays, I was well over $2,500.” —Elise G., 27